Posted by Lynne Beck on Nov 27, 2019
President Michael-jon Pease called the meeting to order at 12:14 pm. Nancy Brady gave an Inspirational Minute about attitudes of gratitude and Thanksgiving and led the club in the 4-Way Test. Bill Collins introduced visiting Rotarians and guests, including a man and his daughter who are leaving soon for a mission trip to Liberia. James Grayson was the greeter. Lynne Beck was the scribe.
Shari Clifford introduced Olivia Engig who is a Rotary Youth Exchange student this year. She is 16 year old and speaks multiple languages, including English and German, and is studying Spanish in high school. Olivia is from Aalborg, the 4th largest city in Denmark. She has a father, mother and two sisters. Her father and aunt were exchange students so Rotary has always been important to her family. Olivia's interests are singing, studying languages, and spending time with her family. She loves traveling with her family, especially to Greece. Her family lived in St. Paul for 6 months when her father had a job here. Her dream is to become a lawyer so she can help people. She would love to come back here. Her goals for this program are to make friends, learn languages, and know herself better.
Michael-jon Pease read the names of Rotarians with birthdays in November and we sang to Happy Birthday to them. He then read the list of members who joined Rotary in November and their years of service.  
Doug Bruce introduced a new member, Andrew J. Vancelli. He is Doug's team member at UBS. He graduated from Carlson School of Business, is a sports fan, is married, and has a 3-year old son Thomas.
Lindsay Moser introduced the speaker Lilia Pantaleeva, executive director of Children's Law Center of MN.
Lilia Panteleeva gave a very informational and moving presentation on Children's Law Center of MN (CLC) and how they give children who are removed from their homes legal representation. Founded in 1995, CLC is a non-profit that has a staff of 4 attorneys, 2 paralegals, 3 social workers, and 340 volunteer attorneys. Children are removed from their homes for repeated abuse or neglect. Of those, 60% are reunited and 40% go into foster care or live with relatives. The goal is to reunify the children with their families if it is safe. If this is not possible, they become wards of the state.
CLC provides children 10 and up with legal representation. Their attorneys listen to the children to learn what they want, their "expressed wishes." Currently there are 120 children waiting for a volunteer attorney. 70% are from Ramsey County and 30% are from Hennepin County. In 2018, CLC represented 930 children and youth. Lilia discussed some compelling stories of children served by CLC. There are no "typical" kids; they are all different.
We can help by supporting CLC financially, writing in CLC in our United Way campaign, checking with our employers about matching gifts, and recommending attorneys to volunteer.
Michael-jon Pease gave the Club Updates:
  • Boy Scout's Spurgeon Awards on Dec. 19
  • WinterSpark Gala Dec. 5 - remember to get your auction items in
  • Legends Informal Lunch - Dec. 3
  • 2020-2021 Board Ballot announced on Dec. 10
  • Jan. 2 Happy Hour with St. Paul Sunrise Club
Sherry Howe collected Happy Dollars from Rotarians. Donovan Schwichtenberg is pleased that the boy who was pushed off the edge at the Mall of America, a relative of his family, is much better and going to school. Ken Crabb highly recommended Pride and Prejudice at Park Square Theatre. Linda Mulhern reported that one of our exchange students from Brazil is telling kids about the program via Rotex International.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 pm. 

Lynne Beck